Perhaps yes probably - our line?
Very often in historical literature show numerous examples of laxity and negligence from commanders of Red army during the Second World War. Also there is an impression that such negative qualities are peculiar only to us (Russian or Soviet). And here Germans and in general civilized Westerners had always an order and discipline (at least on our mass media such impression and develops). Whether so it actually? But history of World War II abounds with examples when hope at random yes our western allies and Germans probably showed. we Will take
three fragments from memoirs, only at once I will not specify whose:
1. “on September 1 in 4 hours 45 min. the case crossed the border, being developed in fighting orders. Dense fog dimmed the earth. Therefore the aircraft was deprived in the beginning an opportunity to work. I accompanied 3 - yu armored brigade in the first echelon to the area to the north of Tsempelburga (Sempolno) where the first insignificant fights were started. Unfortunately, heavy artillery 3 - y a tank division, following instructed it, it was forced to shoot at fog. The first shell became torn in 50 m from my commander tank, the second - in 50 m behind it. I assumed that the following shell will get directly to the car, and ordered to the driver to turn to the right. But he began to be nervous at the same time a roar, unusual for it, and drove in full operation in a ditch. The forward axis of the semi-track laying vehicle was bent that strongly complicated management...
2. However, the infantry forced the river, but pillboxes, the logging-in coastal strengthenings, did not reach. To my arrival change did not occur. Therefore I decided to be transported through the river and to find the commander of a regiment. But I did not manage to find its command post. Command posts of commanders of battalions were also very well disguised. I moored to the coast. Here tanks of a division were not visible; all of them still were on the northern river bank Narev. Therefore I sent the officer accompanying me back, having ordered to give tanks here. On a first line something unclear was created; answered my questions that there is a change of the companies located on a first line. Everything looked here, as at divorce of guard. On approach people knew nothing about the order. The observer of a heavy artillery division did nothing at infantrymen. Where there is an opponent, nobody knew; intelligence agents before the front were not. I ordered to stop this strange maneuver with change and called the commander of a regiment and commanders of battalions...
3. Before finding for the command post of the case equipped in Viznya, I ordered in an oral and written form to the engineer officer directing construction of the bridge quickly guide through Narev the pontoon bridge necessary for an urgent crossing 10 - y, and then and 3 - y tank divisions. On arrival on the command post I disposed to prepare the order next day providing speeding up of the river Narev 20 - y a motor-division more to the right 10 - y a tank division and a crossing 3 - y a tank division for 10 - y a tank division. We spent the night in Viznya, in the new building at a church, however, not built up and uninhabited yet; but other houses were even worse. On September 10 in 5 hours of morning I knew that the bridge through Narev which was already ready about midnight sorted by order of the commander 20 again - y motor-divisions and guided other bridge for the same division, is lower on a current. The crossing of tank divisions had to pass on ferries. It drove me to despair. The officer - the sapper did not bring my order to the commander of a division. He acted in full confidence that the commander of a division is familiar with it. It was necessary to build till the evening other bridge for tanks“.
Probably many fans of military history guessed what fighting battles there is a speech and whose it memoirs, correctly Heinz Guderian of “Reminiscence of the soldier“ in which it describes the beginning of the Polish campaign. For the sake of interest it is possible to offer animators - to inventors such game guess a melody. Most likely bulk of inhabitants on a question of accessory of troops with foam at a mouth will prove that it is about Red army. Let`s consider more attentively these memoirs. In the first case it was nearly ruined by own gunners, and he dissembles, specifying that gunners hit into fog as as he said its commander tank was taken in a classical artillery fork - a falling short, flight, and actually from the third shot the tank evaded if the mechanic - the driver was worse, then we would not read Guderian. In the second case the advanced German parts even did not know about the order of command on the general approach. The infantry is occupied with the everyday affairs, the officer - the representative of artillery from nothing to do hang out on divisions. Nobody found time to establish the opponent`s arrangement. In the third, probably understood as a result of which confusion the subordinate commander actually repeals the order of the chief, sort the bridge which intended for tanks and direct a crossing in other place already for other parts that leads to failure to meet time constraints of dispersal of tanks on initial positions. Can tell that a pier here Germans just accumulated fighting experience. I will agree with it, but then what there can be claims to parts and commanders of RKKA? Especially there was more difficult situation. If Germans entered war with Poles according to the plans and the planned terms, then our troops got under blow, sudden for them (sudden for the majority of parts of cover of frontier, sudden for the country leaders and the top military management it was not). Let`s be had by
to 1943. Fighting experience at Germans huge, since 1939. The Kursk arch, heavy tanks 503 - go a battalion come to initial boundaries for attack of the Soviet positions. Here they roaring the motors and clanking with tracks...... already on July 6 the commander of a battalion had to state:“ The III tank case reported on loss of 13 “tigers“ in one company which began military operations with 14 “tigers“ in the morning on July 5. Nine “tigers“ failed owing to damage on mines and demanded from repair, one to three days, everyone“. The matter is that the German sappers carelessly made passes on the minefields and “tigers“ were blown up on the mines. The negligence put 90% of equipment which did not even reach clash with us out of action. 503 - go a battalion of heavy tanks the commander of the III tank case, the general of tank troops of Breyt released
Following the results of fighting application of “tigers“ on July 21, 1943 the following directive:
“ Relying on experience of last fights, I order the following rules on interaction of “tigers“ with other types of military forces:
1. Possessing powerful armor and high qualities of the tool, “tigers“ have to be used first of all against tanks and anti-tank tools of the opponent and in the second turn (and further by way of exception) - against the infantry purposes. As showed experience, its weapon allows “tiger“ to fight against tanks at distances of 2000 m and more that makes big moral impact on the opponent. Possessing powerful armor, “tiger“ can approach the opponent`s tanks without fear to be struck with shells. However “tiger“ has to seek to start fight with the opponent`s tanks at a distance over 1000 m
of the armored personnel carrier, SAU “shturmgeshyuts“, easy and heavy tanks have to follow close attacking “tigers“ to cover flanks and to expand and consolidate the achieved success. In a course of action on the spaces occupied by infantry of the opponent, the main task of the accompanying armored vehicles fight against groups of hunters for tanks who can struggle with “tigers“ is. Grenadiers have to use immediately strong moral effect of influence of “tigers“ for break through defensive orders of the opponent. Otherwise there is a danger that tanks will leave forward, and resistance of enemy infantry will be restored and will cause vain losses in the ranks of our infantry.
the Problem of cover of “tigers“ from groups of hunters for tanks is assigned not only to the armored personnel carrier, SAU “shturmgeshyuts“, easy and average tanks, but is an additional duty of all types of military forces, especially sappers and infantrymen. “Tigers“ usually are surprised on the closed district (the woods, settlements, ravines) and are far more rare on open spaces.
3. During attack in case sector on July 5 the lack of data on own minefields became painful for “tigers“. Many “tigers“ ran on mines. Later, as a result of incomplete removal by min. sappers, some more “tigers“ were blown up on mines again. Therefore the company of “tigers“ sent to fight was put out of action already at the first stage of battle. Loss of a company of “tigers“ which was a kernel of the attacking division caused damage to development of fight during the first two days of operation. The special attention has to be paid to training of sappers for removal of minefields and designation of passes to them. The forward fighting party has to plan to have constantly enough sappers not only for permission of obstacles, but also for removal of minefields as practice shows that anti-tank ditches, settlements and narrowness in the depth of defense are covered with mines.
4. I forbid use of tanks, including “tigers“, in quantity there is less company. In defense tanks have to unite in the attacking groups for use in the counterattacks planned in advance. After completion of counterstroke tank groups have to come back to a division arrangement immediately. Dispersion of tanks to the line or protection of other types of military forces are inadmissible day and night“.
Eloquent document isn`t that so? What year World War II goes, and the commander of the case issues the order where he specifies that it is necessary to pay attention to training of sappers for removal of minefields and designation of passes. Though it has to sappers be drummed in educational divisions.
Exists opinion that one of proofs of bloodthirstiness of the Soviet mode was what the best equipment and arms first of all was provided to household troops, it were provided to simple divisions and rebels old samples of arms and equipment. Generally the logic of war is very often not compatible to concepts of so-called obshchechelovek. As in this case, it is represented to me that it is much better to provide novelties to parts having fighting experience and and proved in fights from a positive side. Also obshchechelovek complain that commissioners - animals threw unprepared parts into a slaughter. How the situation in this regard at our enemy was? Here Otto Karius`s complaints on this subject, outside 1942:
“ We were in the shelters far behind a front line. One morning I was called by the uneasy commander:
- Hey, Karius, look - - just as at cinema! Just imagine! Just equipped field division of Luftwaffe passed
by our arrangement on the way on the front. At me intercepted breath: as in the magic fairy tale! From carryalls to tools - everything was brand new. We saw the weapon about which knew only by hearsay: machine guns “MG - 42“, 75 - mm the anti-tank long-barreled tool and other tremendous things. We wanted to believe that we, at last, will be able to re-equip completely and our parts. Everything that went on the front, guaranteed quiet winter in this sector.
to our commander companies, naturally, could not wait to consider closer all this magnificence, and we moved to a front line to reconnoiter a situation. The atmosphere of sure tranquility prevailed. It seemed that we around doctrines. On an unter - officers there were elegant peak-caps with a peak; soldiers moved with laziness and missed on the positions.
was not absolutely any signs of fight. For this reason they covered machine guns “MG - 42“ that some dirt did not get to them. Comrades in arms could not be persuaded though time to show us it an unknown miracle hitherto. And what will be if Ivana decide to attack here? Before the weapon is ready to fight, Russians will seize positions.
our fears soon were confirmed. The deaf rumble approaching with North - the East, woke us one morning. We strained several minutes hearing then already nothing could hold us in underground shelters. Outside the blizzard with prickly snow intercepted breath and forced down from legs. For Russians it was ideal weather for attack. Without expecting an alarm signal, we woke a company. Our suspicions were confirmed. Soon the report arrived that Russians broke. We found
the commander of a field division of Luftwaffe at the command post in a condition of blank despair. He did not know where there were its divisions. The Russian tanks crumpled everything around before anti-tank tools managed to make at least one shot. Ivana took the latest equipment, and the division ran up extensively. Fortunately, the opponent after a fast initial victory at once stopped. He was afraid to be ambushed. With some efforts our regiment could liquidate break. It was the real madhouse!
When one infantry part approached the village, it people in uniform of Luftwaffe greeting waved. And suddenly they opened the destroying fire. It were Russians, in trophy winter clothes. To us after that ordered to shoot at any military in the form of Luftwaffe as in it there could be only disguised Russians. Unfortunately, several our separate assault groups became the victims of this order. As soon as within several next days and weeks we heard how in a distance scribbles a machine gun “MG - 42“, could swear life that Russians shoot. We did not try any of them in operation, and our infantrymen usually had to be content with the captured weapon of Russians.
We everything flew into a rage at thought of a failure of those who entrusted the best weapon to absolutely inexperienced, poorly prepared troops and threw them on the front at once“
of Fresh aviafield part (Goering`s invention) provided the best arms of that time, as a result the German novelties filled up an arsenal of our troops, as trophies. The decision to equip with new anti-tank guns and machine guns of a division of Wehrmacht, already being at war on East front would be more pragmatic. Personally, it was pleasant to me to read Karius`s revelations in this part.
we Will turn the view of our allies in World War II. Anglo-Saxons who landed on the coast of Normandy in 1944. Let`s compare. They on preparation had time more than enough, troops are generously equipped by all necessary, thanks to the USA. We will be transferred there. There is heavy fighting. But Germans so do not have forces that cannot create the continuous line of defense. And British grope a gap near Viller - Bokazh. On June 13 regiments 7 - y and 22 - y armored divisions having bypassed the isolated centers of resistance entered the city of Viller - Bokazh where they were joyfully met by locals. Crews of tanks got out of cars, and the commander 22 - y an armored division the lieutenant colonel Krenli decided to survey the road to Caen. Joyful Montgomery transferred the telegram to the chief of a staff: “Thus, pincers by means of which I hope to take Caen take the necessary form“. But it obviously hurried. Actions of allies in Viller - Bokazh watched crew of the single Tiger tank 501 - go a heavy tank battalion CC. “They behave so as if they already won war“, - the tipper-of corporal Voll grumbled. Vittman coolly answered:“ Now we will show them that they are mistaken“. The tank having published a roar rushed in attack. The tank expert Vittman began the most productive attack for years of World War II. For crew of the Tiger of a condition were ideal as on doctrines. It it is just stupid as in a dash shot at point blank range the English tanks standing along roads. Many English crews were out of the cars therefore any counter-measures it is not accepted could be. The town attacked some more “Tigers“ and average T - IV. The advance party of British was broken. During fights for Viller - Bokazh Germans destroyed on to different data from 20 to 26 Shermanov and Kromvelya, 2 anti-tank tools, 20 armored personnel carriers, investigation 7 - y an armored division of British is completely destroyed. The German losses - several “Tigers“ and T - IV. The situation for allies was humiliating. Germans by the minimum forces crushed the advanced parts of British and the most important could close a gap in the defense, from - for unclear a koposheniye of the English tankmen who instead of an exit to an operational scope (dream of any tankman to pogrom backs of the opponent), accepted hospitality of local population and put the equipment in order. It is more than that, the English fighters did not even find time to expose fighting protection which in case of the German counterattack could warn the main forces and detain them for some time. Direct violation of all authorized provisions on conducting fight.
A that Yankee? They had no mistakes? Let`s not remember the movie “Rescue of the Private Rein“ which all continuous mistake. To ruin a lot of people for the sake of one soldier. Do not feel sorry for the USA with the liberalism even of the grandfathers:) I will get up, on protection of the American generals - there was no such idiocy, they did not give such order. Let`s look better as their henerala performed the operation “Cobra“ in the same distressful and eternally kicked in movies and games of Normandy. Here is how Max Hastings in the book “Operation Overlord describes the beginning of operation: As the second front was open“: “The beginning of the operation “Cobra“ was late for several days from - for the same of pouring rains and low overcast which predetermined destiny of the operation “Gudvud“. On July 24 the order was given, and 1600 planes already rose in air to strike preliminary blow when the sky clouded clouds again. The part of bombers managed to be withdrawn with halfway, or they did not risk to dump killing freight through a cloudy veil. However other part of bombers dumped this freight intended for clearing of a way to approach of Americans. Results were catastrophically unexpected. The blow had generally on the, 30 - y a division in which 25 Americans were killed and 131 are wounded, and Germans received final confirmation about intention of Americans to come at the front Seong - Lo - Perye. Some furious American divisions as, for example 2 - y a battalion 120 - go an infantry regiment, opened fire at the planes - a case not rare in practice of allied armies in Normandy when land troops suffered from actions of the pilots“. All right... to whom does not happen) we Will look at actions of allied command next day: “The next morning the forecast for more clear weather was confirmed....... At 9:38 strike fighters made the first 20 - a minute raid on a first line of the German defense. Behind them it is high in the sky over a foggy haze of 1800 heavy bombers 8 - y slowly send to air army to the region of the purpose, and below watched at their wings sparkling on the sun in nervous expectation thousands of young Americans from entrenchments and the covered tanks ready to move to approach as soon as pilots make the business... Bradley asked that bombing attacks applied from the East on the West, from under sunny side and parallel to the front along Seong Road - Lo - Perye to reduce risk, “slipping from the purpose“, that is in this case blow to the. And pilots, proceeding from the reasons, on the purpose went south from the North. Despite desperate efforts of infantry to clearly designate on the earth the positions yellow panels and smoke signals, pilots 8 - y air army continued to bomb the troops.... 111 Americans, including the general - the lieutenant Lesley McNair who left to a first line were killed to watch a raid, and 490 people are wounded. All command structure 3 - go a battalion 47 - go an infantry regiment 9 - y divisions died under bombing attacks. Mad soldiers by force were brought to the back. The others just ran from a battlefield“.
What to tell, very unattractive picture in preparation for approach as a result of which Yankees suffered the general losses killed and wounded 750 people, losses which they suffered without having begun approach yet. A mention Lesley McNair not simple the matter is that he was the difficult general, he was the main theorist of application of armored troops in the USA, some kind of Guderian on - is American. Somehow will not join basten pictures of the western mass media about liberation of Europe in the 44th year. I could give the mass of examples of heedlessness of British and Americans during fights in North Africa, but then the volume of information will reach a chubby small volume. It is only possible to be surprised as Rommel so much time reprimanded allies, in view of limitation of its means, full superiority of allies in people, the technician, artillery and aircraft (not without reason got the nickname “Desert Foxes“). What
can draw a conclusion? The negligence and sloppiness in the war is not especially our national line. During World War II there was a mass of examples of inadequate actions and inaction from all its participants. Human nonsense, laziness and negligence has no race or a nationality, and mistakes are peculiar to all people.
The materials used when writing article: Heinz Guderian of “Reminiscence of the soldier“, Max Hastings “Operation Overlord: As the Second front“, Isaev “Ten myths of World War II“, Otto Karius “Tigers in dirt“ was open.